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My father fell yesterday and broke his hip. He is now in hospital. My mother is staying with us until my brother comes home from China tomorrow. Mum is not easy and has driven me up the wall today. The doctors have noticed - unlike their GP - Daddy's appalling short term memory problems and will investigate further. He is very confused by all the drugs and anaesthetic too! No less a person than the great Johan Kobborg has urged me to be strong on Facebook!:)

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Sorry to her about this Fiz - a difficult time for you all.

 

I'm having my own "issues" at the moment with my mum recently having gone into a hospice, having only fallen ill in the New Year. She's 79 but apart from a bad back before, was pretty healthy. All happening too fast for my liking! My dad's finding it hard (although easier now - they initially discharged her from the hospital to home after she was diagnosed).

 

My brother and I each live over an hour away in different directions so can't just pop in to help (my other brother died 10 years ago with MS). Life's a bugger sometimes isn't it :-(

 

My only famous FB friend is Steven McRae, and he hadn't sent me any supportive comments ;-)

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Thank you, all. I am managing to cope, mainly by not trying to think ahead. I know life is going to be very difficult for everyone now. We won't be moving to Lincoln now. I can't leave Mum and my brother to cope with Dad on their own. Bruce can have had no idea how wonderful this site was going to be when he set it up all those years ago :)

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Fiz and Julie, I feel for you both.  My mother-in-law had a major stroke in her early 50s and I will never forget the stress of trying to juggle hospital visits, looking after father-in-law, a husband working abroad and a new born baby and 2 year old of my own to look after as well.  You really do have to take each day as it comes and try and find at least one postive thing each day to keep you going.  My thoughts are certainly with you both.

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Fiz and Julie, I wish you strength and succour in all your challenges ahead.  I've been there and know what it's like. Just take one day at a time, and most importantly....take care of YOU too, otherwise you won't be good for anything or anyone.  I'm so glad that you can take some comfort from our forum folks....thank you all for continuing to keep this such a wonderful place in so many ways.

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Thank you everyone. I have some wonderful friends who I've made from this forum over the years and it's lovely to also get support from those who aren't friends as such but you start to feel you know well through their comments on here.

My mum was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile duct) but with secondaries in her liver and around her stomach - a cancer most people haven't heard of, but was recently mentioned on an episode of Holly City!

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Fiz and Julie, I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time. My own mother has Alzheimer's Disease which is now quite advanced and last weekend my husband and I moved her into a care home. As you can imagine, I have very mixed emotions about this and, unfortunately, the decision about my mother's care has provoked a hugely unpleasant argument with my brother, as well as a great deal of tension with my sister regarding the clearance of my mother's house (which we all grew up in) and the distribution of family photographs and items of a sentimental nature (obviously, my mother took a few to the home). My brother and sister live abroad (in Australia and Canada respectively) which has meant that the sole responsibility for caring for my mother, albeit at a distance, (she lives an hour and a half away) has fallen on me as there are no other close relatives. I feel quite bruised by the arguments and simmering tensions and resentments surrounding the decisions which have been, and are yet to be, made in relation to my mother and I really wonder what my relationship with my siblings will be in the future.

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Aileen, unfortunately this sounds like an all-too-familiar story.  I've had similar sibling hassles following deaths in my family, and haven't spoken to one of my brothers for six years.  A lawyer said to me once to ensure everything was in order paperwise in case anything happens to me 'as it's always the relatives' who cause trouble.  I keep telling my daughter that although there are downsides to being an only child, there are also upsides!!  I hope the whole business doesn't cause you too much grief Aileen.

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Aileen, that's awful! Luckily we are all singing from the same hymn book at the moment. How can it help to bicker if they can't actually help? I am sure it's guilt, but how does it help you or your mother? :(

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Fiz, Julie, Aileen I really feel for you.  I think many of us on this board are at the stage where our parents are causing us as much worry as our DDs.  A few years ago my mother-in-law was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  We were able to build an self contained annexe onto our house (converted the garage and added a bit) and she lived with us until she passed away.  We had wonderful support from NHS - and appropriate charities.  Now my mother who will be 91 next week has moved in with us.  She is still very healthy, but sight and hearing are not good so it is a relief to have her close by.  I am truly thankful that circumstances mean we are able to do this.  My mother who was already a widow moved close to us when I was pregnant with DD.  When DD was young I had two wonderful grannies willing and able to babysit while I was teaching.  I realise how fortunate we were as a family to manage all this.  My mother's younger sister suffers from dementia and is in a nursing home a few hours drive away, and we visit when we can.  Her daughter is suffering from similar family arguments Aileen.

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Everyone has been so kind. I had no idea so many of you had similar problems and I am so sorry. My brother came home from China today, so Mum has gone home. Her hearing is not good and she is quite forgetful and confused and between both of my parents, I am worn out. Dad was more like himself today, thank goodness. Mum has managed to convince herself of three things. One, that he will be on holiday, two, that he won't have to go back to China, and thirdly, that he will change his job so that he doesn't have to go abroad a lot. I could do nothing to dissuade her from any of this wishful thinking - oh dear :(

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Fiz - try not to worry to much about your mum's wishful thinking.  She's had a shock and it will take a while for her to come to terms with.  I'm sure deep down she realises but its eaiser not to face up to it.  I'm glad your dad was more like himself today and hopefully as he improves, your mum will.  I know my father-in-law said and did the strangest things when his wife was really bad but as she improved he became more like his old self.

Eileen - I hope the situation does improve with your siblings.  I think when you are far away it is easy to be judgmental because I don't think you ever undersatnd what Alzheimers is actually like unless you are there to see it for yourself.  Mix that in with a sense of guilt for not being there to do anything and the resentment builds.  I think all you can do for the moment is trust in your own instincts at having done what you think is best for you mother and try not to let their feelings or comments upset you.  Hopefully with time your relationship with your siblings will recover.  Thinking of you.

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My brother is now home and not at work for the next fortnight. He is being marvellous and I am so grateful to him for coming back so promptly. The Chinese people he works with were very impressed by his filial devotion, he said. They have been fed the line that the West does not care for its old people or family.

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Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. Fiz, I'm pleased to hear that your brother is being so helpful. Unfortunately, as I've discovered, in times of crisis all sorts of unspoken negative feelings and resentments can bubble to the surface just when everyone should be pulling together. I very much hope that my relationships with my siblings will improve once things have settled down.

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I do hope so for your sake, Aileen. Such negativity helps no one. My sister in law is somewhat like this, but fortunately, she is my husband's sister, so this does not concern her. She was very unhelpful when my beloved in laws were dying. We did everything. She lived almost on the door step, but did nothing.

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I read this thread and have deepest sympathy with all who have posted about their difficulties.  4 years ago, my sister died very quickly after being diagnosed with cancer.  For some reason this led to loads of really bad feelings surfacing from way back in the past from one member of the family in particular.  This very quickly escalated into a family feud.  A few months later, my dad died unexpectedly and instead of this bringing the family back together, it just made it 10 times worse and now the wounds are just too deep.  I hope your situation can be resolved Aileen.

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Things are not at all good. My brother had a terrible shock when he saw Daddy for the first time in three weeks. It is obvious to me that my poor father has dementia and both he and my mother have been busy deceiving themselves with false hopes for months. They want us to see the gerontologist tomorrow. My poor, poor father.

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Oh dear, that doesn't sound good.  I hope it all goes better than you expect tomorrow.

 

Worth pointing out that not all cases of confusion and so on are actually dementia-related: my mum had a very distressing bout of it which turned out to be due to nothing more than a (very) underactive thyroid.  Once that was sorted out, she was back to normal.

 

Also perhaps worth gently reminding everyone posting on this thread that, however hidden away it may feel, it *is* still a public forum :)

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Fiz, there is another condition called Delirium which is the sudden onset of dementia-type symptoms in people who may or may not have shown symptoms of true dementia. It is triggered by a minor infection (often a UTI in women) and once the infection has cleared up the Delirium often disappears.

 

As for true dementia itself, family members are often in a state of denial about the illness of their relative, perhaps because they do not recognise the symptoms (which are not merely simple forgetfulness) or perhaps because they think that their relative is to young to have dementia (which can develop in a person's 60s or even earlier).

 

If anyone would like to discuss my experiences of dementia please send me a pm.

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Fiz have the hospital checked out the possibility of a stroke? My father, who sadly passed away on New Year's Day had vascular dementia caused by a mild stroke - so mild that he didn't show any of the usual stroke symptoms and we had to insist on a brain scan as we too had initially put his confused state down to an infection but it just persisted. If we had perhaps got the stroke diagnosed more quickly, more could have been done to minimise the effect. Sorry I don't wish to alarm anyone or make a difficult situation more so but I had no idea about vascular dementia until it affected our family. Hope things are improving for all of you on the forum going through difficult family times - life can be very hard at times xx

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They want to investigate both possibilities. Unfortunately he is not being co-operative. A friend also warned me about being on our guard about the Liverpool Protocol, as it was used on her father without her consent in the same hospital that Daddy is in. Mum now doesn't want to visit him as"it upsets him"but the hospital hasn't said that!

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Thinking of you, Fiz. Have been in a similar place. I feel better for remembering that I did the best I could within my situation and personal circumstances and however sad I feel about losing my mum, the one thing I don't feel is guilty. Keep true to yourself and what you believe is right. X

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